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Ashburton Has Its Own Citizens Advice Bureau

The Mid Canterbury Citizens Advice Bureau has opened in Ashburton this week following an opening ceremony and celebration. Ashburton Mayor, Neil Brown, Council and CAB staff, as well as CAB Chief Executive, Kerry Dalton, attended the grand opening.

The CAB in Ashburton will provide advice on a range of issues such as: welfare benefits, immigration, employment, consumer complaints and landlord-tenant disputes. Mid Canterbury CAB coordinator, Sarah Clifford, said that the months in the lead up to the opening were filled with hours of preparation and volunteer training and she knows that her team of volunteers are well equipped to advise the public on an array of issues.

“It is very exciting to have a CAB in Ashburton given we recently lost our information centre,” says Carolyn Cameron, Ashburton District councillor and volunteer.

Volunteer, Jackie Girvan, who has a background in local government, said that it was important to her to have an avenue for the public to access accurate information on issues and that prior to the CAB opening, access to well managed up-to-date information was lacking. While volunteer, Cathie Withington said she was looking forward to the opportunity to engage with the local community.

Ashburton Mayor Neil Brown thanked the community for their support and passion in getting the CAB open. The Mid Canterbury CAB has received funding from the Ashburton District Council and funding from COGS to update the local community directory and integrate it with the CAB’s extensive database of community groups and services.

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CABNZ Chief Executive, Kerry Dalton, acknowledged the work of the Ashburton community, the Council, and the passion of Sarah Clifford, the coordinator of the service, together with her team of volunteers.

Dalton noted that this was the first CAB to open as an entirely new CAB service in many years, and was a great thing to celebrate in what is the 50th year of the CAB service being in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Coordinator Sarah Clifford says “Our aim is to help people know their rights and empower them with the options to take the next step”.

John Driscoll, Community House Manager has welcomed the opening of a new CAB and said it was an exciting time for the Community House and the region.

The new CAB office will be open between 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday with ten volunteers ready to help and keen to give back to their local community.

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